11/20 Orisha Dance Chicago (Afro-Cuban dance and music) – World Fusion Chicago

Orisha Dance Chicago at Global Dance Party at Old Town School of Folk Music
An exhilarating night of Afro-Cuban dance and music! Founded in 2010, by Victor Alexander Director of a Ruth Page School of Dance and Daniel Lopez, Orisha Dance Chicago is committed to promoting Cuban dance and music throughout the Greater Chicago community.

via 11/20 Orisha Dance Chicago (Afro-Cuban dance and music) – World Fusion Chicago



7 de septiembre, celebración de la Virgen de Regla o Yemayá – Vídeo en CiberCuba


La Virgen de Regla, patrona del pueblo que lleva su nombre frente a la Bahía de La Habana y que viste toda de azul, se identifica con Yemayá, la dueña del mar. Con su veneración se funde casi todo el panteón Yoruba con la cristiandad en el sincretismo y la transculturación de lo africano y lo español, dando forma al mestizaje criollo en el que se basa la nacionalidad cubana.

Meet a Babalawo

Source: Meet a Babalawo

We don’t remember medicine until we are ill.  It’s the same with our  Yoruba medicine , many  don’t remember traditional medicine until Western medicine fails them.  To be fair, there are just as many or maybe even more for whom native medicine is the first port of call for the simple reason that they cannot afford the cost of  Western medical care . But where there are means, the leaning is more towards Western medicine, until of course a problem is encountered that defies orthodox science.

Reasons why people use/don’t use traditional medicine vary,  experiences vary. So many have only praises and some have regrets on using Yoruba herbal science. Why the variations?  There’s  no published  directory of herbal practitioners, or widely acknowledged certification , so that there is  no way of ascertaining the qualifications of a practitioner before you decide to place yourself in their care. In the days gone by, presumably word of mouth recommendation was all the certification required, and that’s at the root of the problem experienced by  people who would  use Yoruba herbal practitioners today. Just how many people who do use traditional medicine will own up to the fact? How do you get a recommendation when visits to Babalawo are seen by the educateratti as hush-hush.



The Origins of Cuban music and its Cultural and Spiritual Importance Within the Cuban Diaspora Community – Student Pulse

Source: The Origins of Cuban Music and its Cultural and Spiritual Importance Within the Cuban Diaspora Community – Student Pulse

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This paper explores how the Cuban Diaspora has formed connections and forged a new identity around music, meanwhile reinforcing the resiliency, adaptability, creativity and autonomy of the Cuban people in the midst of crisis and uncertainty. Arts and culture are not just forms of entertainment, but messengers and affirmations of culture and spirituality. These are all manifestations of a collective identity, which becomes personal. Popular music acts as a conduit that people filter their own experiences through. Throughout Cuban history, patterns of travel and emigration have molded the identity of the people and defined generations (Gleason 113).


Rumba; the ultimate expression of the Afro-Cuban way of life (Courtesy of and by Baila Society)

Cuban Rumba

History/Culture courtesy of and by “Baila Society”http://www.bailasociety.tv/public/439.cfm

In Cuba, Rumba is a generic term covering a variety of musical rhythms and associated dances. The rumba has its influences in the music brought to Cuba by Spanish colonizers as well as Africans brought to Cuba as slaves. Rumba is more than a music and dance genre; it is the collective expression of the Creole nature of the island itself. Rumba is a secular genre of Congolese African and Spanish flamenco influences, and is one of the primary ancestors of popular music in Cuba.

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas
Map of Cuba

Rumba developed in the Cuban provinces of Havana and Matanzas (one hour east of Havana) in the late 19th century, as a blending of Congolese-derived drumming styles and Spanish flamenco-singing influences. As a sexually charged Afro-Cuban dance, Rumba was often suppressed and restricted because it was viewed as dangerous and lewd.

Afro-Cuban rumba is entirely different than ballroom rumba, or the African style of pop music called rumba. Rumba developed in rural Cuba, and is still danced in Havana, Mantanzas and other Cuban cities as well as rural areas, especially those with a significant or predominant black community, although now it is infused with influences from jazz and hip hop.

A Cuban Rumba song often begins with the soloist singing meaningless syllables, which is called ‘diana(s)’. He then may proceed to improvise lyrics stating the reason for holding the present Rumba (‘decimar’; span.: to make ten-line stanzas), or instead tunes into a more or less fixed song such as: “Ave Maria Morena” (Yambú, Anónimo), “Llora Como Lloré” (Guaguancó, S. Ramirez), “Cuba Linda, Cuba Hermosa” (Guaguancó, R.Deza), “China de Oro (Laye Laye)” (Columbia), “Malanga (Murió)” (Columbia)”.

There are three main styles of Cuban rumba: the yambú (the oldest style dating back to the colonial period), the guaguancó (the most popular of the three) and the columbia (the most African-flavored, and also the fastest).

Rumba Performance
Rumba Performance



Yambú is the oldest and slowest known style of rumba, sometimes called the Old People’s Rumba. As the oldest style, yambú was first played on wooden box drums called cajones (as African-derived drums were feared and often banned), the Cuban claves (simple wooden sticks that are probably one of the most important instruments in the island’s history) and a metal shaker called the maruga. In addition, cucharas (spoons) were sometimes added, playing a counter rhythm to the claves. This counter rhythm would eventually be played by palitos (sticks) on a guagua (horizontal piece of bamboo on a stand).

It uses the slowest beat of the three Rumba styles and incorporates movements feigning frailty. It can be danced alone (especially by women) or by men and women together. Although male dancers may flirt with female dancers during the dance, they do not use the vacunao of Rumba Guaguancó. The yambú dance is slow and graceful, danced by male-female couples who combine Spanish and African movements in a courtship-style partnership.

Rumba Guaguancó is faster than yambú, with more complex rhythms, and involves overtly flirtatious movements between a man and a woman in the roles of “Rooster” and “Hen”. The guaguancó style emerged later as a faster tempo form, and was (and still is) played on tumbadoras (conga drums), along with the claves, the palitos and the maruga. The conga drums are modeled after the Congolese yuka drums, direct descendents of the African ngomas, and would go on to be the most commonly used hand drums in all of Latin music. There are three main sizes (or widths) of tumbadoras: the tumba (bass), the segundo or tresdos (middle) and the quinto (highest, which is the lead drum), and each drum is tuned to a distinct pitch. (At first, tuning took place with heat as the skins were nailed on, but later, metal tuning hardware developed.)

The woman both entices and “protects herself” from the man, who tries to catch the woman off-guard with a vacunao — tagging her with the flip of a handkerchief or by throwing his arm, leg or pelvis in her direction in an act of symbolic sexual contact. To defend herself, she may cover with her hand, or use her skirt to protect her pelvis and whip the sexual energy away from her body. Guaguancó most likely inherited the idea of the ‘vacunao’ from yuca or macuta dances, which were both brought to Cuba by Bantú ethnic groups. This rooster-hen dynamic is a feature of many African dances found throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, and in many places was frowned-upon (or even banned).

(Note: In our CTV routine, we have a “vacunao” moment with the girl protecting herself)



Rumba Columbia (not “Colombia”) is a fast and energetic Rumba, with a 6/8 feel, which is often accompanied by a 6/8 (Spanish ‘seis por ocho’) beat struck on a hoe or a bell. It is assumed that the Columbia originated in hamlets in the interior of Cuba rather than the suburbs of the larger cities from where other types of Cuban Rumba stem.

The Columbia is primarily a male-only demonstrative dance, with a more uptempo and complex rhythm that incorporates some of the Congolese ritual music aspects as well as the Bantú languages, still widely used in folkloric as well as popular music. It too is played on tumbadoras and the other noted percussion instruments, and also adds a bell that plays a complex 12/8-meter pattern on top of the 4/4-meter structure. Solo, traditionally male, dancers provoke the drummers, especially the player of the smallest drum (Quinto, here also soloist drum), to play complex rhythms that they imitate through their creative and sometimes acrobatic movements. Men may also compete with other men to display their agility, strength, confidence and even sense of humor. Columbia incorporates many movements derived from Congo dances as well as Spanish flamenco, and more recently dancers have incorporated breakdancing and hip hop moves. While only men typically dance columbia, there were (and are) famous women who stood out such as Andrea Baró, who is often the subject of columbia songs.

The structure of rumba songs has remained virtually the same since it first began. In the yambú and guaguancó styles, the claves begin the song, establishing the tempo with the distinct, five-note pattern (which is the heartbeat of most Cuban music as well as salsa). The remaining percussion instruments enter in layered fashion, and begin their repetitive patterns. The lead singer then sets the key with a series of scat-like vocalizations called the diana, followed by the verses of the song. The lead vocalist then initiates the call-and-response section and is responded to by the chorus while he/she improvises in between, and it is at this time that the dancing begins.

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas
Oyelos De Nuevo
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

Almost the same structure holds true for the columbia, the difference being that many songs begin with the cowbell (and the claves are not always included), and columbia dancers dance solo instead of in couples. Traditional rumbas began to be recorded in Cuba much later after their emergence (around the 1950s), and the seminal group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas is one of the most significant folklore ensembles to take the genre around the world. In the past several decades there have been variations to the styles, instrumentation and dance, but despite its evolution, rumba continues as the ultimate expression of the Afro-Cuban way of life for all generations on (and off) the island.

According to Cuban percussionist, singer, composer and historian Gregorio ‘el Goyo’ Hernandez, who became widely accepted as a specialist in Cuban Rumba after his album “La Rumba Es Cubana: Su Historia” (2004, Unicornio No. 6004), Cuban Rumba Columbia has its origins in the drum patterns and chants of religious Cuban Abakuá traditions. Fact is that the ‘cáscara’ or ‘palito’ rhythm of Columbia, either beaten with two sticks on a piece of bamboo or on the rim of the congas, is the same as the one played in Abakuá chants, which is played with two small plaited rattles (‘erikundi’) filled with beans or similar objects. The drum patterns of the lowest conga drum is essentially the same in both Columbia and Abakuá as well.




Sources: Wikipedia; National Geographic; World Music; Afropop; Global Rhythm; Smithsonian Global Sound; IFE-ILE;

Books: Cuba and its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo; Ned Sublette; Chicago Review Press, 2004

Bolding added by BAILA Society

Back in Havana, as the man says “Chilling!” Thank you Caracas!

#YoSoy YorubaAndabo #YoSoyCuripaya #YoSoyCubano

#YoSoy YorubaAndabo #YoSoyCuripaya #YoSoyCubano

We went to Caracas, renewed and made new friendships, chanted and performed for our fans and supporters! The proof….!!!


A great big thank you to our fans and supporters who made this possible!


YORUBA ANDABO arrived in Caracas! YORUBA ANDABO llegó a Caracas!

Eventos PosterYorubaAndabo_PBEventos alba_cultural_americabanne-todos1

YORUBA ANDABO llegó a  Caracas (6 al 8 de noviembre)


Viernes 6/ VENETUR/Salón Anauco

Sábado 7/VENETUR/Salón Bicentenario

Domingo 8 /Teatro La Caridad

Producción PB Eventos/ Fondo Cultural del ALBA

YORUBA ANDABO arrived in Caracas (6 to 8 November)

Friday 6 / VENETUR / Lounge Anauco

Saturday 7 / VENETUR / Lounge Bicentennial

Sunday 8 / Teatro La Caridad

Production Events PB / ALBA Cultural Fund




Salón Anauco/VENETUR

Viernes 6 de noviembre, 10pm

Producción Fiver Star y PB Eventos



Hall Anauco / VENETUR

Friday, November 6, 10pm

Fiver Star and PB Eventos Productions




Salón Bicentenario/VENETUR

Sábado 7 de noviembre, 6pm

Producción PB Eventos


Afro-Cuban music and dance

Bicentennial Hall / VENETUR

Saturday, November 7, 6pm

PB Eventos Productions




Teatro Alameda

Domingo 3pm

Producción PB Eventos


Afro-Cuban music and dance

Alameda Theatre

Sunday 3pm

PB Eventos Productions




Teatro Alameda

Domingo 8pm

Producción PB Eventos



Alameda Theatre

Sunday 8pm

PB Eventos Productions



Final Avenida Lecuona.  Complejo Parque Central. Edificio Anauco.  Caracas 1010-A

Telf +58 212 573 4111

Comercial +58 212 573 7724


Final Avenida Lecuona. Central Park complex. Anauco building. Caracas 1010-A

Tel +58 212 573 4111

Commercial +58 212 573 7724

Historical tour of Yoruba Andabo in the U.S.A postponed to January 2016

PosterYAScreenshot 2015-11-01 23.49.31Screenshot 2015-11-01 23.49.11

Yoruba Andabo wishes to apologize to all its friends and public in the United States for postponing the tour scheduled for this November, for reasons beyond the control of the company, the involved institutions, and the organizers and promoters; The Yoruba Cuba Association, The Adinkra Group, and The Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation.

A delay in the processing of our visas prevented us from bringing the best of our art to you. We regret any inconvenience caused.

All of the involved parties are working very hard to schedule the presentations and workshops for January 2016 and to fulfill our commitment established with the people of the United States.

We are very grateful for your understanding and never ending support, and we await you without fail in January.

Respectfully yours

Geovanni Del Pino – General Director

Jose Luis Lobato – Manager and Producer


Yoruba Andabo desea pedir disculpas a todos sus amigos y público en los Estados Unidos para posponer la gira prevista para este mes de noviembre, por razones ajenas a la voluntad de la empresa, las instituciones involucradas, y los organizadores y promotores; La Asociación Yoruba Cuba, El Grupo Adinkra y La Fundación Cultural Arts Asase Yaa.

Un retraso en la tramitación de los visados nos impidió traer lo mejor de nuestro arte para usted. Lamentamos cualquier inconveniente causado.

Todas las partes involucradas están trabajando muy duro para programar las presentaciones y talleres para enero de 2016 y para cumplir con nuestro compromiso establecido con el pueblo de los Estados Unidos.

Estamos muy agradecidos por su comprensión y apoyo sin fin, y les esperamos sin falta en enero.

Respetuosamente tuyo

Geovanni Del Pino – Director General

José Luis Lobato – Director y Productor

SAT 10/31 | Yoruba Andabo (Rumba) at Old Town School of Folk Music


World Fusion Chicago

Rumba is Cuban and without Cuba, there is no Rumba. As simple as that! Come and enjoy the rumba experience with Yoruba Andabo!
“The possibility of experiencing a night with Yoruba Andabo was a unique one.Unique since one can witness an incredible reunion between something sacred,mystic and an atavistic and inborn sense of partying. The audience was transported to a separate world, a world of intense colors, of full joy and beauty.If the roots are, undoubtedly African and ancient, the charm of today’s musicisan authentic wonder…”

The Yoruba Andabo Company was born on the piers of the port of Havana in 1961 when a group of laborers would get together for parties and artistic events through their union. They gave rise to the Guaguanco Marítimo Portuario, a group which, in 1985, began their professional career with the name Yoruba Andabo. From that time forward, they have offered their art as…

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